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|Right Ho, Jeeves||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Page 7 of 13||
Aunt Dahlia interrupted at this point to observe that these Traverses seemed to be a pretty soppy couple of blighters, to judge by their dialogue. She also wished to know when I was going to get to the point.
I gave her a look.
"'My darling,' he will say tenderly, 'is there anything I can do?' To which your reply will be that there jolly well is--viz. reach for his cheque-book and start writing."
I was watching her closely as I spoke, and was pleased to note respect suddenly dawn in her eyes.
"But, Bertie, this is positively bright."
"I told you Jeeves wasn't the only fellow with brain."
"I believe it would work."
"It's bound to work. I've recommended it to Tuppy."
"In order to soften Angela."
"And to Gussie Fink-Nottle, who wants to make a hit with the Bassett."
"Well, well, well! What a busy little brain it is."
"Always working, Aunt Dahlia, always working."
"You're not the chump I took you for, Bertie."
"When did you ever take me for a chump?"
"Oh, some time last summer. I forget what gave me the idea. Yes, Bertie, this scheme is bright. I suppose, as a matter of fact, Jeeves suggested it."
"Jeeves did not suggest it. I resent these implications. Jeeves had nothing to do with it whatsoever."
"Well, all right, no need to get excited about it. Yes, I think it will work. Tom's devoted to me."
"Who wouldn't be?"
"I'll do it."
And then the rest of the party trickled in, and we toddled down to dinner.
Conditions being as they were at Brinkley Court--I mean to say, the place being loaded down above the Primsoll mark with aching hearts and standing room only as regarded tortured souls--I hadn't expected the evening meal to be particularly effervescent. Nor was it. Silent. Sombre. The whole thing more than a bit like Christmas dinner on Devil's Island.
I was glad when it was over.
What with having, on top of her other troubles, to rein herself back from the trough, Aunt Dahlia was a total loss as far as anything in the shape of brilliant badinage was concerned. The fact that he was fifty quid in the red and expecting Civilisation to take a toss at any moment had caused Uncle Tom, who always looked a bit like a pterodactyl with a secret sorrow, to take on a deeper melancholy. The Bassett was a silent bread crumbler. Angela might have been hewn from the living rock. Tuppy had the air of a condemned murderer refusing to make the usual hearty breakfast before tooling off to the execution shed.
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|Right Ho, Jeeves
P. G. Wodehouse
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